09/03/14: Legendary & YouTube team up, Susan Lyne Leaves AOL Brand Post, BuzzFeed gets game


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, September 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

AOL Brand CEO Susan Lyne is stepping down to run a venture fund for AOL aimed at women-led digital startups, reports Variety. It’s tentatively called the BBG (Built By Girls) Fund. Lyne came to AOL in February 2013. Maureen Sullivan will continue to lead AOL.com and AOL’s lifestyle brands; Luke Beatty will lead AOL’s technology, auto, and entertainment properties as well as the experimental products unit.



Stand Up To Cancer returns to primetime television
on Friday, September 5th at 8pm ET/7pm CT.

ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with 28 broadcast and cable networks will all air the nationally televised fundraising special, broadcast live from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Tune in to see performances from top recording artists and celebrities from film and television along with powerful stories of remarkable progress being made by SU2C-funded research.
When we all come together, cancer doesn’t stand a chance.



Boo You: YouTube Space House of Horrors: A Legendary Halloween is the name of the new contest from YT and Legendary Pictures, in which YouTubers with at least 10,000 subscribers who are part of the YouTube Partner Program can create a horror short, Variety reports. Those interested will be invited to use one of YouTube Spaces in L.A., London, and Tokyo, which will each have sets on hand inspired by Guillermo del Toro’s past films (he is best known as the writer/director of “Pan’s Labryinth” and “Hellboy”). Del Toro will pick the scariest videos from each location and offer advice on their rough cuts, and the winner will receive a development deal with Legendary. Each of the shorts will be posted on YouTube from Oct. 21 till Halloween. The contest is also serving as promotion for del Toro’s upcoming horror film, “Crimson Peak,” which Legendary is releasing on October 16, 2015.
Snap Fitness and AMC have partnered on “4th and Loud,” which follow’s L.A.’s new arena football team, the Los Angeles Kiss, which happens to be owned by Kiss frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. To help promote the show, Snap Fitness trainer Jordan Johnson and L.A. Kiss quarterback JJ Raterink are featured in a four-part video series on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter that aims to help Americans get in shape.
Hulu is now broadcasting nine episodes of Nashville Country Revival, the two-year-old television program focused on inspirational Country, Gospel, and Bluegrass that had been featured on such networks as Daystar, Heartland TV, and TCT, among others. According to cybergrass.com, Amazon Prime will also soon offer up the show as well.


DirecTV and Raycom Media are in a contractual standoff that has left big markets such as Cleveland, Cincinnati, Charlotte, N.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla. without some big-network affiliates. The standoff has affected 53 stations in 37 markets, which accounts for approximately 13% of U.S. TV households. Raycom claims the two sides have been negotiating a new deal for three months and DirecTV has it that Raycom wants to “more than double” its fees compared to its last deal.
Netflix has changed the way subscriber information is shared on Facebook after data showed that people don’t want to share every movie they watch with large audiences on Facebook. The shift allows those who have linked the service to their Facebook pages to permit users to select the specific Facebook friends who will see their video recommendations, according to the Washington Post
As YouTube has now launched fan-funding for independent content creators, reports, which means that creators with channels on the site can now directly request donations from viewers and subscribers. Now available in the U.S., Australia, Japan, and Mexico, the service is expected to move to other countries as well.
S&P Equity Research moved TiVo down to a hold rating last week, according to MideastTime.com. Meanwhile, analysts at Zacks kept TiVo at a neutral rating. Seven analysts have it a hold and nine have issued a buy rating, the site notes.


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The rebrand of LOVEFilm to Amazon Prime Instant Video UK has paid off in a big way for the company. New data from Amazon shows that since the name change, Amazon UK’s viewership has grown 70%, TVWise reports. The rise isn’t just tied to the name change, but to the simultaneous increase in original content being provided. Series Alpha House and Betas launched at that time, as well as several pilots that were green-lit to series. Original or exclusive programming has filled the top five spots of Amazon Prime Video UK’s list since the rebrand six months ago.
Get up to speed with the latest in TV measurement on Wednesday, September 24 at Cynopsis’ exclusive training webinar,
Understanding the Latest Ratings Advancements. From new metrics to better target your marketing and programming, to how to differentiate among multi platform, media, video, mobile and ad measurements, our agency and research experts will guide you through the latest in measurement science. Brad Adgate, SVP/Director of Research for Horizon Media; Brian Fuhrer, SVP Product Leadership and Cross-Platform TV Audience Measurement at Nielsen; Bruce Goerlich, Chief Research Officer for Rentrak and Mainak Mazumdar, Chief Science Officer at Simulmedia will be presenting. Click here for more info.

After tracking the daily rate of illegal downloads of all Emmy contenders one week before and after the 66th Primetime Emmys, CEG TEK International, a provider of anti-piracy solutions, reports that piracy rates surged over 340% within a day of the broadcast. Most notable was Breaking Bad, whose peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing jumped 412% the day after the Emmys, making it the second most-pirated show both worldwide and in the U.S. True Detective, House of Cards, Homeland and The Newsroom all saw illicit activity increases as well. The largest increase in piracy domestically was for Scandal, which surged 1,630% (194% worldwide).


BuzzFeed is getting into game development. While the company has already created plenty of interactive quizzes and games, it’s now hoping to move into more complex offerings. BuzzFeed’s vice president of product, Chris Johanesen, told TechCrunch that the company is looking to “build a warehouse somewhere and fill it with 70 developers.” Recently, BuzzFeed held a weeklong brainstorming session for interactive concepts and the in-house developers are creating a game-design engine.
Dungeons & Dragons
, the role-playing game that defined nerd culture of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, is being made into a new mobile game by Backflip Studios, TouchArcade reports. At its heart, the game is a “castle defense game” but there will be big elements of customization and player vs. player, according to Backflip CEO Julian Farrior.
Brits can now watch TV from their smartphones, thanks to Sky’s mobile apps for its NOW TV streaming service. The apps have been updated to allow for Google Chromecast support, The Next Web reports.


Call for Entries
Cablefax’s Over-Under List: Overachievers Under 30
Final Entry Deadline: September 3

Who are the young cable professionals that have stood out to you this year?  Enter cable’s rising stars into Cablefax’s Over-Under List: Overachievers Under 30 by Wednesday, September 3 at midnight ET.
Enter Online Now

Questions: Contact Diana Rojas at [email protected]


Season 3 of Arrow doesn’t launch till Oct. 8 on The CW, but to help keep fans engaged, a weekly DC Comics digital-first series Arrow: Season 2.5 has launched online. The content lays the groundwork for the upcoming season, wraps up loose questions from last season, and features the main characters from the television production. Check it out at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
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